Winter tyres, whats the concensus?

NIGEL_ASH Posts: 56
edited December 2009 in MTB beginners
Its confusing, reading other threads and also what the rags quote, is it better to have fat tyres or narrow tyres, particularly at the rear?

I've seen recommendations for both fat and thin tyres for winter, what works better for you?
Custom FS built around a Mongoose Otero frame
CUBE Ltd Race


  • JamesBrckmn
    JamesBrckmn Posts: 1,360
    I think people recomend fat spiky or thin slick tyres for ice and thin nobblies or thin spikes for snow
  • What about, for example, a trail centre in winter, that might have some muddy bits, rocky bits, wet hardpack etc? I've got a 2.4 Nobby Nic on the front and a 2.4 Racing Ralph on the rear and to be honest, its fine until I hit thick mud when I might as well be on an ice rink. I'm looking to change the rear for something more winter orientated, do I stick with 2.4 or drop to something like a 2.1 or 1.9?
    Custom FS built around a Mongoose Otero frame
    CUBE Ltd Race
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    We don't really have 'proper' ice, where spiked tyres are worth using. So you're best bet is to get something that works well in mud, as well as roots, rocks, etc. It's a trade off between grip on those surfaces and how well they roll. Which'll be down to you. Any one recommendation will be unlikely to be right for you because of local conditions, riding style, skill, fitness etc etc etc

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Most modern trail centres will have armoured trails anyway so a sensible trail tyre like a highroller or nevegal or somesuch will do very nicely- avoids the tradeoff of low speed and wobbly handling that some winter tyres can give, yet still has plenty of grip.

    Actually, that's my choice pretty much year round, they can deal with most circumstances bar really bad mud, and I tend to think that if a trail's that bad, I don't really want to ride it and chop it up.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Its what came with the Cube when I bought it and as you say, its an excellent set up most of the time, except when the going gets a bit gloopy, then the rear is all over the place. My FS bike has Pana Fire Sport 2.1's fitted front and rear and they're ok, but slow rolling.
    My question really was aimed at ideal width's rather than tyre model/type. Trying to determine if I should stick with the same width or buy something narrower.
    Custom FS built around a Mongoose Otero frame
    CUBE Ltd Race
  • hyperman
    hyperman Posts: 232
    i use a 2.35 highroller on the front and a 2.25 nobby nic on the back, this seems to give me a good all round performance, i think it's down to personal preference really but this combo suites me for trail centre riding..
  • fnegroni
    fnegroni Posts: 794
    on my commuter (a converted hardtail) I just put 2.1" front and 1.8" rear Panaracer fireXCpro.
    The rear being narrower digs a bit, sometimes down to the ice, but somehow manages more traction after a bit of spinning and sliding...
    The front, I put 20 psi and it floats over the fresh snow without digging down to the icy bit.
    This way i got the best compromise and my commute back from work today was a doddle.
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    I tried a 1.8 panaracer fire xc pro on the front and I was sliding all over the place in a bit of mud, it`s much better now with a 2.0 sauserwind on the front and the 1.8 on the back.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    NIGEL_ASH: a wide tyre on the back is useful if you are landing lots of jumps but otherwise stay thin.

    I think the whole winter tyre/summer tyre thing is too specific. We all ride in different places in different conditions and although it's 'winter' what works for one person may not work for someone else.

    As said above, the 2.25 Nobby Nics are good all-rounders and 2.2 Conti Rubber Queens get good reviews.
  • I think theres a real misconseption about winter tyres as i discovered from a number of forum replies when i asked the same question. I agree that the majority of the time, the ground is gloopy and soaking wet, but when the ground is frozen you might as well have summer tyres on. So i think you are better off with a all rounder eg Kenda Nevegal rather than full on winter tyre. Howver thats my opinion and probably is biased as where i ride there aren't oo many extremities e.g. clay mud, rocks roots etc.
    Giant XTC SE 2006
    Cube LTD Race 2009
    Trek Fuel EX 9
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    I agree with that too, a Nevegal, Highroller etc will do better in mud, than a mud tyre on drier stuff. If you've got huge amounts of mud then sure, they don't really do the job but then, if there's that much mud around I look for somewhere else to ride since churning up a damaged trail's not a very good idea if there's any choice.

    Still, today I could have done with some mud spikes. Maybes ice spikes actually! First time I've ever felt my nevegals just couldn't cope, but then neither could many tyres.
    Uncompromising extremist